Mayhem Festival Gets Underway July 5
I’d tell you to circle it on your calendar but it’s already marked. It’s Independence Day after all. Well, in 2014 the Fourth of July is the last sane day of the summer before mayhem takes over.
On July 5, the seventh annual Mayhem Festival kicks off in San Bernardino, California at the San Manuel Amphitheatre. This year the “world’s biggest heavy music touring festival” is slated to visit 25 cities including Phoenix, Milwaukee, Toronto, Atlanta, and Dallas.
The summer will finally get back to normal on Aug. 11. That’s because the night before, the festival rolls into the Houston area, and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, for the year’s final installment of mayhem.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival was founded in 2008 by John Reese and Kevin Lyman. Since its formation, the festival has tallied more than 160 shows and collected tickets from more than 1.7 million head bangers.
And now for the question every Mayhem Festival fan wants answered and that’s who’s on the marquee? Headlining this year’s tour is Avenged Sevenfold and Korn. AX7 is still promoting their 2013 release, Hail to the King, while Korn is pushing their latest LP, The Paradigm Shift, which also dropped last year.
Other groups scheduled to appear include Asking Alexandria, Trivium, Cannibal Corpse, Suicide Silence, Emmure, Miss May I, and Mushroomhead. In total, Mayhem has tapped 20 bands to melt faces and blowout ear drums.
Unless Mariska Hargitay suddenly forms a band that gets booked in a traveling music festival, Mayhem is the only place you’ll be able to see a cast member of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit perform on stage this summer.
Ice-T, who plays detective Odafin Tutuola on the aforementioned NBC crime drama, will be at Mayhem fronting his band Body Count. The actor and singer formed Body Count in 1990 with guitarist Ernie C. Rounding out the group is guitarist Bendrix, bassist Vincent Price, and drummer Ill Will. Three of Body Count’s original members—Beatmaster V, Mooseman, and D-Roc the Executioner—are no longer with us.
The 2014 Mayhem Festival features four stages. The Rockstar Energy Drink Main Stage hosts the headliners as well as Asking Alexandria and Trivium. The other three stages are the Coldcock American Herbal Whiskey Stage, The Sumerian Records/Headbang for the Highway Stage, and The Victory Records Stage.
For years, the Mayhem Festival had just three stages. Organizers expanded to four in 2013.
Rockstar Energy Drink Main Stage
Coldcock American Herbal Whiskey Stage
Miss May I
Texas Hippie Coalition
The Sumerian Records/Headbang For The Highway Stage
Body Count featuring Ice-T
Upon A Burning Body*
Veil of Maya*
Headbang Local Winner
*bands rotating slots
The Victory Records Stage
During the festival, if you need a break from the metal you can always enjoy some motor, as in motorsports. Booked for the 2014 Mayhem Festival is the motorcross madness of Jimmy Fitzpatrick and his Fitz Army. Just so you know Fitzpatrick is billed as a “freestyle motocross legend.”
The motorized fun doesn’t stop there. Also on the marquee is the motorcycle riding team of UNKNOWN. The group performs thrilling freestyle tricks on Harleys. The things they can do on a motorcycle will blow your mind.
“Over the years I have went to The Bay area date of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival to check out bands and see the Freestyle Motocross demo; I am excited to join the tour, bring our Harley’s and put on our riding demos every day.” — Nick Leonetti, UNKNOWN Industries co-founder and rider.
Just like in year’s past, not every band will appear at every tour stop. Below is a list of Mayhem Festival dates with revised lineups.
>>On July 14, Mayhem comes to Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. Due to the size of that venue only Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, Trivium, and Body Count will perform.
>>On July 30, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York hosts the Mayhem Festival. That night, only the main stage acts will be on hand: Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, and Trivium.
>>On Aug. 10, for the show at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, be ready to see all the bands on the main stage and the Coldcock Stage as well as Body Count and Emmure. The only exception is King 810. They will not be participating.
>>The July 18 Mayhem Festival, scheduled for Milwaukee, is the most unique entry on the itinerary. It’s being billed as "A Taste of Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival” due to the fact that Avenged Sevenfold and Korn won’t be there.
>>The tour’s first two shows, July 5 in San Bernardino and July 6 in Mountain View, will be held without the services of Emmure.
Fans always grumble over the lineup of musical festivals. Heavy metal festivals seem to draw more complaints than their counterparts. And of all the heavy metal festivals, Mayhem seems to gets people’s dander up the most.
Search for news stories about the “Mayhem Festival” and then check out the articles’ comment sections. A majority of the responses will show nothing but disdain for the lineup. Some say the roster isn’t heavy metal enough while others will unfairly ridicule Avenged Sevenfold and charge Korn with being “old.”
My favorite criticism came from a fan that harangued this year’s lineup because it doesn’t compare to the lineup of bands from 2012. Of course it doesn’t compare! In 2012, the festival starred Slayer, Anthrax, Motörhead, and Slipknot. Arguably, that’s the greatest Mayhem lineup of all-time. Organizers could go a decade without booking a line up better than the one they put together in 2012. Avenged Sevenfold and Korn would probably say the same thing.
All bitching and moaning aside, A7X is amazing in concert and Korn are legends. Meanwhile, the other main stage inhabitants, Asking Alexandria and Trivium, have both shredded Mayhem before. What all this means is whether you see the Mayhem Festival in Tinley Park, Burgettstown, or Oklahoma City, you’re in for an amazing day of live music.
By the way, half of the 20 bands scheduled to appear at Mayhem in 2014 have appeared at previous incarnations either on a full time basis or as a fill-in. That includes all four bands on the main stage—Avenged Sevenfold and Korn shared the main stage for two dates back in 2010. So those that are carping about this year’s lineup are really carping about the Mayhem Festival in general.
2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival
>>July 5 - San Bernardino, CA @ San Manuel Amphitheatre
>>July 6 - Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
>>July 8 - Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheatre
>>July 9 - Boise, ID @ Idaho Center Amphitheatre
>>July 11 - Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
>>July 12 - Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheatre
>>July 14 - Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
>>July 16 - St. Louis, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
>>July 17 - Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theater
>>July 18 - Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
>>July 19 - Indianapolis, IN @ Kilpsch Music Center
>>July 20 - Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
>>July 22 - Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center
>>July 23 - Saratoga, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
>>July 25 - Toronto, ON @ Molson Amphitheatre
>>July 26 - Burgettstown, PA @ First Niagra Pavilion
>>July 27 - Hartford, CT @ Xfinity Theatre
>>July 29 - Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake
>>July 30 - Wantagh, NY @ Nikon Theatre At Jones Beach
>>Aug.1 - Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
>>Aug.2 - Scranton, PA @ The Pavilion At Montage Mountain
>>Aug.3 - Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
>>Aug.5 - Atlanta, GA @ Lakewood Amphitheatre
>>Aug.7 - Oklahoma City, OK @ OKC Air Park
>>Aug.9 - Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
>>Aug.10 - The Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Check out Noiz's Google+ profile